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Virginia Commandery Officer addresses George Mason University on Gender and Justice (April 2015)


George Mason University selected Virginia Commandery Officer Rene' White (Feather) as a guest speaker for the 2015 Politics of Gender and Justice Conference.

Rene's speech was titled "Methods of Transformation to Politics of Gender & Justice: Transforming Race Relations Starting with Language." Her presentation formed part of a conference with other distinguished speakers that was held on Friday, April 24 at GMU. The event was free and open to the public.

The below is an abstract submitted to GMU by Consoeur Rene' White (Feather):

'Language can bridge the fundamental gap in our society. For instance, words like "Primitive." "Uncivilized." "Savages." The people who created those words had passion. They made a difference. But, the impact of those words on our Native American ancestors continues to linger in our history books, under headings of old photographs and in spoken words as we describe Native Americans today.

I would like to share my personal story of being a female Native American and living through assimilation, discrimination and serving to protect our U.S. Constitution as an Air Force officer. I am proud to give a voice to our true Native Americans' histories.

I would also like to encourage unearthing the passion within us all to help bridge the divides that separate us. Let us look at how we are alike rather than different. Together, I believe we can find unity as a new tribe of people with passion to make a difference. Unity gives us the strength to solve diverse problems and make a positive difference. Let us not allow cultural diversity to ever threaten our unity. It is about loving thy neighbor as thy self. It is about being peacemakers. It is about making a difference.

The only barriers that exist are in language.'


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